WoWWatch: It’s a steep curve…

gauge

Let me share a story with you. The setting is a 5 man instance; our main characters include a tank, a healer, and three DPSers, one of which happens to be a warlock. The group is progressing through the instance relatively well, but after the first boss fight the tank notices that it’s taking a little longer to clear trash than expected. He takes a quick glance at his DPS meters and sees that the warlock in the group is lagging behind. He inspects the lock’s gear and sees some improper itemization and shockingly notices that the lock is sporting some unspent talent points. He alerts the group, harsh words are uttered, a kick-vote is initiated and the warlock is booted. Not too unusual right? The lock should know better by now – L2P or whatever. What’s not usual about this story is the setting wasn’t Pit of Saron, or ToC, or even the Nexus, this story took place in the Deadmines. As it turns out our poor protagonist, the warlock, never had a chance. She was a new player (actually new, like this was her main) in a 5 man group with 4 heirloomed-out ICC raiders on alts. In a game where Blizzard is shooting characters to max level with blistering speed, how are players supposed to learn to play in groups? Or even in raids?

WoWWatch – Cataclysm and you: Stats!

a beautiful mind_0

The equation above has nothing to do with aerodynamics, nor is it important for tax deduction purposes. It is, in fact, the equation required to calculate armor penetration cap for a given player. Confusing? Yeah, it’s about as obvious as an invisible midget. Unfortunately for us and our calculators WoW has accumulated quite a few midgets since the game first debuted in 2004. Not only do they make our heads spin trying to optimize our gear, they also make loot itemization a nightmare for developers – “Wait do we stack haste with armor pen? Or was it agility? Hold on, this is mail, do we need intellect here too?” It turns out that in addition to remodeling our zones Blizzard intends to overhaul our stat systems with Cataclysm too.